U.S. Coast Guard trains Sri Lankan port officials
ECONOMYNEXT – The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has conducted port security training at the Port of Colombo with Sri Lankan port officials under a program seeking to reduce risks to American maritime interests and facilitate secure maritime trade globally.
A U.S. embassy statement said the port security capacity building training under the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Port Security Program was conducted from February 11 through 13 with more than 25 Sri Lankan port officials.
“The event strengthened the port’s security capabilities through drills that improved agency coordination and the implementation of the port’s security plan,” it said.
“Sri Lanka’s improved maritime security will not only provide greater protection against terrorism and other threats but also will enhance trade with other countries, contributing to Sri Lanka’s prosperity.”
The U.S. Coast Guard says its International Port Security Program seeks to reduce risk to U.S. maritime interests, including U.S. ports and ships, and to facilitate secure maritime trade globally.
“Through reciprocal port visits, the discussion and sharing of port security best practices and the development of mutual interests in securing ships coming to the United States, both U.S. port security and the security of the global maritime transport system are enhanced.”
The U.S. Coast Guard is one of several U.S. government entities focusing attention on the security of maritime trade.
It works with the Department of State as well as other agencies in the Department of Homeland Security such as Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.
As the Port State Control authority in the United States, the Coast Guard is responsible for protecting U.S. ports.
Foreign states that do not, or cannot, maintain effective antiterrorism measures are listed in a public Port Security Advisory, published on the Coast Guard’s Homeport web site.
“Sri Lanka has demonstrated a strong commitment to port security,” Lieutenant Matt Arnold, the USCG’s liaison to Sri Lanka for Port Security initiatives who headed the program, was quoted as saying in the embassy statement.
“This capacity building program helped create the security environment that’s essential to increased trade and realizing Sri Lanka’s goal of becoming a regional hub for commerce.”